Innovation and Networks Executive Agency

Horizon 2020 Transport: Meet Ellen – the first all-electric ferry

Creation date: May 17, 2019

Since the beginning of May, Ellen the first all-electric ferry built in the framework of the Horizon 2020 Project E-Ferry, has started its first official sea trials.

E-ferry has the world's largest battery, which allows it to travel longer distances than existing electric ferries (up to 21.4 nautical miles or nearly 38 km) before it needs to be recharged, making it suitable for journeys between small island groups, and along coasts and inland waterways. This is a game-changing approach to medium range ferry connections that goes beyond current limitation of existing electric ferries such as the vessel's speed, autonomy and coverage (range). It is also an important step in the effort to reduce the environmental footprint of vessels and cope with increasing oil prices.

The first technical sea trials have now been successfully carried out by the technical project partners, with all different systems performing as planned.

On the 7th of May the first of four official sea trial days took place, with representatives from the classification company and national maritime authorities onboard, together with the technical partners. If all systems continue to perform as planned, Ellen will be handed over from Søby Shipyards to the Aeroe Ferries at the end of the trials. For a period of 6 weeks after that, the ferry company and the crew will become familiar with Ellen and its operations.

Tests will continue throughout the next months and Ellen will be fully operational in 2020, allowing the local community and visitors to enjoy the benefits of this breakthrough innovation funded by the European Union.